Apprehensive of any untoward incident like the last year, Bengaluru Police is going extra mile to ensure safe New Year celebrations in the garden city.
Last year, the city was in the eye of storm over alleged incidents of mass molestation on the New year’s eve. On MG Road and Brigade Road, city’s central business hub, miscreants reportedly groped and passed lewd remarks on women even as cops struggled to control thousands of revellers.
The photographs of distraught young women seeking help from police and complaining about molestation shocked the entire nation. Badly outnumbered, the cops were left with no option but to intervene intermittently depending on the ‘gravity’ of the situation.
The incident happened even as 1500 policemen were present in the area. Bengaluru Police was slammed for its alleged inaction.
However, this time Bengaluru police, apparently, is taking no chances.
Unprecedented security arrangements
Over 15,000 police personnel including 2,000 women cops will be on duty in the city to ensure New Year’s revelry does not turn disruptive. The police will deploy about 70 platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) and City Armed Reserve (CAR) personnel, around 1,000 civil defence personnel and home guards.
Brigade Road under tight vigil
About 2,000 cops are to be deployed only on Brigade Road and MG Road, city’s central business hub which caught national attention amid multiple complaints of molestation on New Year’s eve.
It was also, apparently, one of the reasons police denied permission for Sunny Leone’s event on December 31. Since the police have to maintain law and order throughout the city, including for huge gatherings on Mahatma Gandhi and Brigade roads, special attention cannot be given to Sunny Leone event, Bengaluru North East Deputy Commissioner of Police S Girish told PTI.
Though purported incidents on Brigade Road last year were denied by police, shocking visuals of a woman being molested by two men in Kammanahalli, about 7km from the central business district, led to huge public outcry.
Apart from the 1100 operational CCTV cameras, the police have installed another 500 to monitor the activities on New Year’s Eve.
Drones and bomb squads
Additionally, the police will also use drones to keep a bird’s-eye view on movement of vehicles and revellers. 750 patrol vehicles will be moving round the clock to keep vigil. Bomb and dog squads have been checking all locations in the central business district for the last few days as well.
Bengaluru city police commissioner T Suneel Kumar has warned those found taking advantage of the situation during New Year’s Eve revelry and indulging in obscene behaviour.